What do you write? And what does it mean?
I write BLOVED, it means some one that’s highly loved. In my case, specifically by God. Its biblical term I adopted.
How did you first get into graffiti and lettering and who were your first influences?
Graff was kicked down to me by my older brother (VAST).
He’d come in my room when I was a kid and write out my name on random pieces of paper and I was in awe. I wanted to be able to do the same. I tried mimicking what he would do but was obviously whack so I asked him to teach me. From there he kicked me down game and everything regarding graff.
When I first started painting my brother was my main influence, after learning more I became obsessed with most of the writers from AWR and MSK. SABER, REVOK, RETNA, ZES, AUGOR, RIME, REYES, ALOY, SEVER etc. I bit most of their work, and they heavily influenced my graff. ATLAS who was CBS at the time as well as LUXER were others I distinctly remember as well. There were many more but those are the prominent ones I looked too often. Growing up.
Have you studied Art in any way, or did you pick it all up on your own?
I took art during high school but all I did was draw letters and sketched pieces or stamps to paint later. I took an intro to oils class at a local college. I learned a few things there but just ended dropping out. It reminded me too much of high school. (Where I also dropped out haha.)
A lot of what I learned was just trial and error as well just
Watching videos and other artists paint. The biggest thing was just practicing everyday, whether it was graff, or painting with brushes.
You have a strong following on Instagram. How has Instagram helped you as an artist?
Its helped me Tremendously. social media is an artists best tool to get your name/work out there. If you create a large enough following you can live off of your art. The majority of all my work comes from there. I've connected and made so many new friendships because of it.
Why do you think you have such a strong following and what words of wisdom would you give to another artist trying to expand their fan base?
Quality and consistency. Post a minimum of 3 times a day consistently. Do your best and practice to give quality work. No one wants to see/follow trash work. Use more hashtags, do a few giveaways. I also prayed for it, shout out to DREX as well for pushing and helping me with social media.
You have more handstyles than almost any other artist we know, have you ever counted how many styles of lettering you have learned?
i actually have, it was 33 styles, But last I counted was over a year and a half ago so I’m sure its more by now.
Speaking of the quantity of styles you have learned. Other than tons of practice, how do you approach learning a new lettering technique?
Taking inspiration from everywhere around me. We’re surrounded by lettering. If I see something I like or a letter I think looks dope i play with it, tweak it and give it my own twist. From one unique letter you can create a whole new alphabet.
Most artists only learn one or two styles of lettering, what drives you to be so dynamic and learn so many different styles and techniques?
I just get bored with doing 1 style over and over. So might as well learn a bunch.
How important is the type of marker when trying to execute a specific style of writing or lettering?
Very. No 2 markers are the same. You have round nibs, chisel nibs, and brush style nib markers. Each one yields a different effect even if its the same style lettering.
With the quality of your letters it only makes sense to transition into the tattoo world. How long have you been tattooing and what caused you to transition from graffiti artist to tattoo artist?
I started tattooing my junior year of high school. I was 17. I’m 29 now but have tattooed on and off since then.
I would always kick it at a clothing and graff store that opened in my city. The owner suggested I should get into tattooing, and said that’d id be really good at it. I didn’t really care I just wanted to paint. until one day he had the whole setup in the back room and showed me the basics of it and let me play around with the machine. I started tattooing some friends and from there I got hooked and didn’t stop. (Shout out to SPOOKS for putting me on)
You do a lot of work with markers. What are your favorite markers to letter with and why?
Kuretake zig calligraphy marker is the best for paper and the sharpest lasting nib I’ve used. 2nd would be their brush pen or a Pentel brush pen. I love the texture the strokes of the brush makes.
I prefer chisel over anything. The OTR calligraphy markers are dope too
How important is the legibility of letters to you?
I prefer and admire it more than crazy wild lettering. Simple lettering whether it be a hand style or a piece is harder to execute. Its strictly the letters and whatever style you give It. GESER 3A, KEMS, TIMBER 84, SMOE NOVA, and CROME, are the best at it in my opinion.
While you do work on walls, you are really known for lettering on black books, canvas’s, tattoos, and such. All these hardcore gangsta’s online want to know “Why don’t you do more illegal stuff yo!?”
It doesn’t itch me the way it used to. I've had my years of racking paint and doing the graffiti “quota” of freeway spots, bombing, and what not. I just don’t care for it anymore. Nor do I care what people think of me or feel the need to ‘prove” myself to anyone. I'm more focused on developing my skills, growing my presence as an artist, and making money in the process.
Do you consider yourself a street artist? A Graffiti artist? A modern artist?A calligrapher?
I don’t consider myself any of them, but at the same time I have aspects and roots in many of them. My foundation/roots are graffiti, but I’m not an active “writer” or call myself a “graffiti artist.”
I enjoy calligraphy and take inspiration from it but my lettering doesn’t fall into that category nor is it confined to it.
I enjoy painting with oils and acrylics on canvas but I’m definitely not a modern artist. I would just consider/call myself an artist and that’s about it. I let my work speak for itself.
What’s your favorite brand of spray paint to paint with and why?
I can’t say I have one honestly, as long as its low pressure I’m a happy camper. ( if there is any sponsors interested though holla at ya boy! Haha )
Does music play a roll in your art? What are you rocking in your headphones currently?
CUMBIAS baby, CUMBIAS.
What are your favorite colors or are there colors you find yourself using often?
Black, always and forever will be number 1, White and Coral red as well
You seem to be a very driven artist. Do you have any goals for the next year or two?
Dropping 2 lettering books as well as a few more instructional videos.
Do you have any of your art for sale?
Yes , I post and I sell directly through instagram. Any available pieces you can see there.
Final shout outs?
MOMS for always supporting my pursuit of graff and art as well as the constant love she showed. My brother VAST. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be at where I am today. SPOOKS, for putting me on tattooing and showing love regardless of my age. CHEZ. He mentored and taught me the proper way of tattooing as well as had my back and pushed me artistically at a pivotal point in my life. CARLOS MONTOYA, my youth pastor that prayed for me and put with my antics during my time of heavy painting. JOHN, my oldest brother for loving and helping my sister during crazy times growing up. My boys IVAN and LUIS, love you guys. MY WIFE. For loving, supporting, and being one of the greatest examples of love to me. Last but not least, JESUS. For saving and forgiving me, giving me a 2nd chance at life with my sanity back.
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